Mitchell Stephens

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Journalism in an Amateur Society

NYU Professor Mitchell Stephens is convinced that the steady rise of non-professionals creating journalism content is a very good thing for news. We asked him to explain.

His reasons are several: to begin with, our general public is better educated today than ever before, the cost and expertise required to edit video and publish writing have dropped. And, he says, we online users, being such a large and diverse group, have a good handle on what makes good content and what doesn’t.

We don’t need to teach media literacy, Stephens believes, because the competition among those making journalism sorts the good from the bad, and people know good content when they see it.

For more information, see his books A History of News and The Rise of the Image the Fall of the Word.

Looking for a counterargument? That would be Andrew Keen’s Cult of the Amateur.

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